There are so many things that we could do on any given day. Yet, we choose to spend our days kayaking. Sometimes we are kayaking with friends down chaotic whitewater. Other times we are by ourselves on alpine glacial lakes. Why do we choose kayaking? For me, there are a few main reasons that come to mind.
First, I’ll talk about the sensation. It’s not all that different from the feeling someone might get riding an amusement park ride. I’m not particularly excited about roller coasters but I do love the feeling of making dynamic moves on the water. It could be snapping a tight turn into an eddy, launching off a good boof, or just rolling through the waves. There is something exhilarating about smoothly transitioning from one edge to the other while moving through various currents and feeling the cool splash of the water on your face and the warmth of the sun all at the same time.
Another thing that keeps me coming back to the river is conquering my own fear. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them, but I’m terrified of the water. It makes perfect sense though when you thin about it. What could be more satisfying than taking on your biggest fear? Every time I get in the water I get a little better handle on a fear that has had great power over me my entire life. I grow a little bit and become a stronger person one paddle stroke at a time, every time I go out. I don’t know any other way to get that kind of personal satisfaction. It has taken me longer than most to get to where I am in paddling because of it, but perhaps I’ve learned more along the way as a result.
Finally, and most importantly, kayaking for me is a means to access a place. Some of those places are otherwise inaccessible and some of them you can drive right up to, but it isn’t just about getting there. It’s about being in remarkable places and feeling a part of the place when you get there. I love the sort of dance we do with the amazing power of this world. I love how it makes me realize how small I am in the grand scheme of things. It’s one thing to go and look at the amazing incomprehensible power of nature. It’s even better to get in there and really experience it, to be a part of it, to be just one drop of the water in a vast river.
This is why I kayak, but that’s just me. Why do you kayak?
Thanks to Dylan Nichols (@fallingwater14 on instagram) for the photo!